Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Premature Evaluation: Northgard

Every Monday we send Brendan to scout the early access ruins for hidden treasures. This week, the careful Viking tactics of Northgard [official site]

This is Blainn, below. He’s just killed a Wyvern. He’s my best mate because I gave him and his giant pals, the Jötunn, enough food to last a lifetime. They reckon we in the Goat clan are excellent humans and now Chief Blainn is fighting alongside us in our hoofed conquest of the whole land. This is one endgame that comes in Northgard, a rock-solid RTS about allocating and reallocating your Viking workforce in just the right way. Technically this match ended over an hour ago, when my opponent reached a “wisdom victory”. But it’s a testament to Northgard’s foundations that, when given the option to leave or continue following my defeat, I happily clicked “keep playing”.
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Total War: Warhammer’s campaign map is unreadable

Total War: Warhammer is good at presenting complex information in battles. Your unit of spearmen will tell you when they’re attacked from behind and their banner will flash when they’re about to retreat. Your general glows, and he or she is often comically large compared to regular soldiers. Arrows, cannonballs and spells have brightly coloured trails so you can tell what’s about to hit you.

Outside of battles though, TW: Warhammer has trouble presenting basic information. In particular, the game’s campaign map is a mess which is difficult to parse and frustrating to use. In battles, Creative Assembly make good use of visual shorthand so can you extract relevant information at a glance. The campaign map, meanwhile, is so visually busy that basic information like where your armies are and how far they can move is obscure.

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Wot I Think: Night In The Woods

At one point I was sure I was going to write about how much I disliked Night In The Woods [official site]. At a later point I realised I was going to write about how much I loved Night In The Woods. I think there’s a lot to know about Night In The Woods from that. It is both extraordinary and wanting, fantastic and frustrating. It’s a story you click through, yet features platform-based dream sequences. It’s defiantly linear, yet seems to offer moments of enormous choice. It’s perplexing, wide-ranging, specifically brilliant and specifically half-baked. The writing is sharp and intriguing, yet mono-voiced and peculiar. It’s a visual novel, but it’s a platform game, but it’s an adventure, but it’s something else entirely. I’m pretty sure I love it at this point. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Call of Duty 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Call of Duty 2 [official site] tends to get forgotten about, sandwiched as it is between the huge success of Call of Duty and the truly gargantuan success of Call of Duty 4 (we don’t talk about Call of Duty 3 here in PC town). This is an unfortunate state of affairs, as it might just be the best game in the series. Read the rest of this entry »

The RPG Scrollbars: Great ideas more RPGs should steal

They say that they who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. When it comes to game design though, good ideas fall through the cracks and get forgotten all the time. This week then, I’m going to list a few of my favourite small features from classic or obscure games alike that I think would be cool to see more often, and quite probably ask you for a few of yours. Sounds like a plan? Excellent! Remember, we’re looking for small, specific stuff rather than, say, ‘good combat engine’. The kind of spark that perhaps only one or two games have ever tried, or which have faded for whatever reason over the years, but new games really should steal. Let’s start obscure, with…

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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for making lists of the best games writing of the week, despite evidence to the contrary presented on the two previous Sundays. Those particular Sundays were for being on holiday and sick at the same time.

I’ve been following Ooblets on Twitter for months and so has everyone else. Gamasutra looked into why by talking to the developers about their GIF-first development process.

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Free Loaders: What’s the draw of horror?

As hard as it is to believe, we live in the good timeline. In this reality, Walt Disney did not go crazy with delusions of bringing his animations to life, creating a terrifying place where you can be stalked by cartoon characters. Oh no, he did! Well, at least the terror of Disneyland is offset by the boredom of long queues for Space Mountain. In our headlining free game this week, there’s no such respite.
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